Coach's Corner - Josh McDaniels 10/29/10

Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels met with the media on Friday to discuss the trip to London, the injury situation and what they can do to rebound from last week's embarrassing loss to the Raiders. Check out the full transcript...

On the flight to London
"The trip was great. I think that most our players got a lot of sleep on the plane. We got (to London), had a good meal, a couple of meetings, watched yesterday's practice film and then (the players are) getting ready to head over (to the Brit Oval for practice) shortly. So, everything is going as planned and no hiccups so far."

On whether he thinks the team will be affected by jet lag
"No, we think the better team will win. Whoever plays the best is going to win. We talked to a lot of different people, in terms of what they've done in the past – the teams that have (played) over here – there are two different thoughts behind that. We chose to have three good practice days back at our facility, somewhat of a normal preparation for our players and then go ahead and make the trip in what we believe will still be enough time for us to get our bodies adjusted. Now we're in the second phase of the plan and over the next 48 hours, that's what we think will happen."

On whether he views the travel as a distraction
"No, it hasn't disrupted us at all. We've known about this (game) for a long time and I think our players have a great attitude and our staff does too. We're actually very excited to be here and looking forward to the opportunity to represent the Broncos and the National Football League here."

On whether the team will be able to do any sightseeing
"I saw Big Ben on the way over here (and the) pretty famous (London) Bridge. I don't know if I'm going to get out and do much but I'm sure that the players (will). They have some time tonight when we're done here to do some things and I'm sure they'll take advantage of that and then tomorrow afternoon, there'll be a few hours for them to do something if they'd like to. I'm sure there will be plenty of us that see things that we've never seen before and we look forward to doing that."

On the playing surface at Wembley Stadium
"We're ready to handle whatever it may end up playing like. When we go over there tomorrow, we'll have an opportunity to see what it is first hand before game day, which is good. We've talked about slick conditions, we've talked about rain, we've talked about wind, longer grass and shorter grass. There was some slipping and sliding in last year's game, so we understand that it may be that way. We have to try to play smart if that's the case."

On whether the team is wearing different cleats for this game
"If they feel like they need to, yes. We're going to let them go out there and test it and then we'll try to make the best decision for the team, in terms of what we think they have to wear to stay on their feet if it's a wet surface or slick at all."

On the injury status of the players who traveled
"They traveled great. We think everybody that is here should be ready to go and capable of playing so we look forward to having a full-strength team – at least the team that is in London."

On whether WR Eddie Royal will be able to return kicks and punts
"He's going to be able to do it and if he's able to do it the entire game, we'll have him back there but we have to be ready for something else. He's trying to deal with something that the longer he plays on offense, the more plays he plays, probably the less returning he'll do. So, we'll kind of judge the return opportunities by how many plays he's actually playing on offense and try to balance it that way. The other guys are ready if we need them and Eddie is ready also."

On who played 49ers QB Troy Smith on the scout team this week
"Both (QB) Brady (Quinn) and (QB) Tim (Tebow) did. Again, we have a great deal of respect (for Smith). We watched a lot of film on him from this preseason and he's a passer that can run – not a runner that can pass. We've seen that from what he did in Baltimore. He's a very capable player who now has a great opportunity in front of him and I'm sure he's looking forward to it. So, we're going to have to play good defense and make sure that we stop their offense first, which is very talented."

On whether he was surprised by the 49ers' decision to start QB Troy Smith
"No, he hasn't played a lot (in San Francisco), so you don't necessarily know how he's fit in with what they have, but if you watch the tape that he put out there from the preseason and in years past – he's really never done anything to discourage anybody from thinking he could go out there and do a good job. He's been behind some good players and (QB) (Alex Smith's) injury gave them the opportunity to at least make a choice (between Smith and QB David Carr) and they chose Troy and I'm sure they chose him for a reason and we're expecting a great effort from him."

On what the team learned from Raiders QB Jason Campbell's performance last week
"We have to do a good job of being disciplined in the pass rush, no matter who the quarterback is. (49ers QB) Troy (Smith) can extend plays with his legs – so can (QB) David Carr and so could (QB) Alex Smith. We were getting ready for that kind of a quarterback anyways, so we have to do a good job in terms of our discipline in the pass rush to make sure we keep him in the pocket and don't let him out there to extend plays any longer than they should."

On his impression of the Brit Oval
"We just came from the car here but it looks great. Plenty good for what we need to do today and we would do whatever we had to do on any (surface) and this looks like a good surface for us. We're going to try to get a little warm up here today and try to get some of the stiffness out of their legs and get them sweating a little bit so this is plenty good for us and it looks like we got a good day (of weather) too."

On the importance of getting a win going into the bye week
"I think this is an important game for our season, no matter what – whether there is a bye week following it or not. I think that any time you have a week to try to recoup and then study what you've done the first half of the season you try to use that to improve certain things – certain aspects of your team. I think that week always goes smother when you're coming off a victory. I think it's more important for your players to feel like we can build off a performance instead of fixing something that just happened. We've put a lot into this (preparation) this week. This is an important game for us for a lot of reasons and I think we're all looking forward to Sunday and trying to put our best performance out there as coaches, players and win a game and then go to work and try to figure out exactly what we want to do the rest of the season."

On whether rain would help a passing team or a running team
"I think it can be an advantage in both situations. If you can stay on your feet and know where you're going in the passing game that always becomes a little bit of an advantage for you in terms of running routes. If it slows the pass rush down, (so) it can definitely be an advantage for the quarterback. If it becomes a running game solely because the rain is so bad then it favors the team that runs the football best on that day. But, I think it can actually be an advantage in the passing game – the defenders have to be a little bit more cautious because you don't want to allow a 4-yard pass to go for 55 yards because you slipped and fell down. The types of coverages you play – you may play less man-to-man than normal in those kinds of conditions. It just depends on how severe the rain would be and whether or not you feel like you can throw it effectively."

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